Who’s the Boss?

This tiny, little creature is Akiane (pronounced “ah key on ah”). I call her Mommie most of the time because she, along with the amazing (now-departed) Diggity Dog, has given me 16 beautiful grandpuppies. Mommie is about 500 pounds of fierce, rolled into about 5 pounds of preciousness.

Despite her tiny frame, there’s no doubt who runs things around here. That’s right, this smidgen of a dog absolutely dominates me all day long. Of course, being a chihuahua (pronounced “chi-wow-wow” around here), she’s obsessively faithful and loyal. I have no doubt that she would do her best and defend me to her death against any threat I might face…

Because of this pint-sized canine, I have lost any claim to the part of my anatomy between my hips and knees that exists only when I am sitting; I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find an image of my Mommie along side the definition of “lapdog” in any dictionary. My laptop computer has become a kneetop device in order to accommodate the queen on her preferred throne. And just to be sure that she knows that I know that I have the privilege of typing (instead of petting or otherwise devoting my attention to her) only because she allows it, she positions herself so that her head rests on one or the other of my wrists.

There’s more to her domination than taking over my lap; she must be on some part of me at all times (unless she is making the rounds to remind My Sweetheart that he is also hers). Mommie is there to assure me that she is in charge even when there is no lap in which she can lounge. When I get on my hands and knees to check for stray beads in my crafting area, this is how she reminds me who’s the boss:

Mommie on my neck

Yes, it’s a little embarrassing…

Of course, Mommie knows that if she wants to remain in power she has to trust her advisors and follow their recommendations on certain subjects. To that end, she’s a reasonably obedient chihuahua (except for knowing when the heck to zip her lip) and lets me pretend to be the one who makes most of our decisions. Anyone who really knows us, however, knows better.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My Forever-broken Heart

Last week, on the day before the nation sat down together to share a feast of gratitude and celebrate thankfulness with friends and loved ones, my household suffered the tragic loss of a very special family member when our Diggity Dog was struck by a car near our home. Diggity had been My Sweetheart’s constant companion for four years, husband to my Akiane (“Mommie”), father of 16 beautiful pups (including my LB). Diggity was such an awesome little dog that 12 of the 16 pups he and Mommie created were adopted by our friends and family who wanted to have an awesome little dog of their own. My Sweetheart and I love that little guy as much as we could love a human child and we are heartbroken beyond words.

This is how we remember him: Diggity Dog

 

Pulling the Plug on What’s Not Working

Here I am, early on a Monday morning with nothing to show of in a 4Day Declutter Challenge Reveal post.

Again.

Why not? Because I didn’t post a challenge on Thursday.

Again.

I am frustrated with myself that I’ve missed posting each of the past two weeks’ challenges and (by no coincidence) each of the past two weeks’ reveals. I’m frustrated AND beginning to feel slightly over-run with guilt for not getting the challenges posted. Extra specially frustrated today because yesterday I made major progress in the front office of the warehouse. The room which has been, in my opinion, the least inviting area of my cluttered existence has been transformed into the closest thing to “homey” in only a few hours’ work.

I should have taken photos of the before.

I didn’t.

I just got a wild hair to have the unused refrigerator moved out of the corner and into the shop and started making that happen. Once that beast was out of the room, I set myself to moving the hall tree which has been sitting in the most tempting spot for clutter-collection (directly beside the entry door) into the spot vacated by the fridge. Now the black bench with over-head cubbies sits about 5 feet from the door. Close enough to be a handy launch pad for things like keys and sunglasses, purses and other travel must-haves, but not as convenient for depositing “whatever” we happen to carry in from the truck while being greeted by frantically enthusiastic chihuahuas whenever we come home. Clearing off the bench top has made a nice home (for now) for the duct-tape body form in my image that My Sweetheart helped me to create a couple of weeks ago as well as a home for the oscillating fan which normally takes up an obscene amount of floor-space and is mandatory equipment for My hot-in-every-way Sweetheart’s comfort. I hope that having those two items occupy the area most likely to encourage clutter on this particular piece of furniture we will be able to break the habit of dumping on it. Keep your fingers crossed that it works.

Still motivated to create change in this entry room, I took a pair of scissors to the carpet remnant My Sweetheart had positioned to run the length of the room, folded over at one end to fit the space, and I cut it down to size. The remnant’s remnant I placed in front of the front door. The comfy club chair which had been a sore thumb stuck out in the middle of the room and an obstacle to all movement within the room found a cozy little spot between the newly placed entry rug and the hall tree. My Sweetheart managed to sneak in behind me with a small tea-cart he just bought from the online auction for the whopping price of about a dollar, and he placed the cart between the club chair an the front door. It’s a really cute little cart and it’s a perfect fit in the space, but I’m worried that it may become the new drop-spot for “whatever” as we come in from where ever it is we go loaded down with random stuff. I’ll have to keep an eye on that. Cross more fingers.

The greatest assistance I encountered as I worked my way around the room, decluttering came from two other amazing online auction finds My Sweetheart has adopted in the past week: a small tower cabinet with about eight shallow drawers and a longish leather ottoman/bench/storage box. Into the cabinet went pens, pencils, sketchbooks and nail polishes, in other words, my personal clutter. Into the ottoman went beads and other crafting supplies, shoe-shine products and the like. It’s embarrassing how much clutter I create around here. I’m happy to have these two tools for hiding my mess! (Thanks, Babe.)

The greatest help I got with the cleaning aspect came from a new (to me, anyway) Kirby vacuum cleaner that My Sweetheart acquired for me on Saturday. I gotta hand it to The Kirby Company, they do make a product that sucks, but in such a great way! Every home should have a Kirby and that’s about all I’ve got to say about that.

I didn’t get the whole room completely and totally decluttered by the time I threw in the towel, but I did get the major points covered… er… uncovered… before I sat down. Even the stack of boxes I have spent every day we’ve lived here trying to convince myself aren’t there really aren’t there! The best thing, though, is that when I finally called it quits, My Sweetheart came right behind me to place a new (from an online auction) open-faced, little cabinet in the corner where those boxes had been and topped it with what looked at first to be a sparkly, new microwave. On closer inspection, I realized that it was the same appliance we’ve been using (and neglecting) for over a year. My Sweetheart had polished it to a like-new shine.

All-in-all, I’m darn pleased with the results of the effort we put into it. I’m way less self-conscious about opening the door when there’s a knock from the other side. That says something, but doesn’t quantify the weight that’s been lifted from my shoulders. Whew!

But even in spite of all the progress I’ve made over the weekend, clutter-busting “to beat the band” as my grandmother might have said, I’m still aggravated with myself over the recent non-success of the 4Day Challenge. Not only am I frustrated at the fact that I’ve not posted the challenge or the reveal in the past two weeks, I’m also annoyed with myself that the only thing I’ve really posted, despite the fact that I’ve missed the challenge has been about it or somehow related to it, rather than whatever it might have been that inspired me to post in the first place, because I feel obligated to say something about the missed post… UGH! Since I’ve been the only participant lately, I’m not getting that team-spirit feeling out of it, either. But even with all of these not-quite-loving feelings I’m experiencing over this weekly meme concept, I would still be committed to sticking with it, just to keep myself motivated to kicking clutter in the butt. My progress in the front room this weekend, without the 4Day Challenge to hold me accountable, has given me a different outlook on the future of the challenge… Which brings me to the real reason for this post…

I’m suspending the 4Day Declutter Challenge… indefinitely. When the time comes that I need an external motivation for keeping up progress, I’ll bring it back. Unfortunately, I’m sure it will be back before long. What a sad truth. But it’s a relief to feel the freedom to post about whatever’s on my heart or my head when I want to post. I feel the freedom already! In fact, I’ve got a new pet-project that My Sweetheart and I are developing and fine-tuning; we even gave the idea a test-run over the weekend and I can hardly wait to tell you all about it.

I hope you all aren’t too disappointed in me for pulling the plug on the challenge, but I hope you’ll tell me about it, either way, in the comments.

Contents Under Pressure

I have a one-year-old chihuahua named LB (“Lightning Bolt”–I’ll tell you that story another time) Wilbur III, Esquire. I adore LB to pieces and baby him way more than I should most of the time. Today, LB is being a moody little pain in the butt and growls and barks his head off at the whole family every time one of us so much as moves an inch. I have told him a dozen times or more to knock it off, but I might as well have been talking to a stump (a barking, growling stump), because when My Sweetheart came into the living room from the warehouse a little while ago LB went off like a freakin’ siren.

And so did I.

I got nose-to-nose with a (usually) sweet, little 4 pound dog and yelled my head off at him to stop it, Stop It, STOP IT! like an insane person. And I hurt the little guy’s feelings. Poor baby boy. I never even talk ugly to him, so he was totally unprepared for me to go off like that. I feel like a bad person for it.

The reason I lost my cool, I suppose, is the fact that I had been struggling over this post for–oh, I don’t know–close to an hour, maybe, and I had nothing to show for it at all. The reason I am, or was, stuck is I feel like I really have a lot to say here today and all of those thoughts are crushing up against each other trying to get out and building more and more pressure the more I try grab onto just one of those thoughts. My thought process has all the qualities of a warm, 2-liter bottle of Big Red soda that someone just dropped on the hot pavement. Not a good thing.

I was thinking about this post yesterday. The possibility that I would be blocked like I have been wasn’t even a consideration. In fact, I spent a lot of time thinking about this post and expected it to just flow right on through my fingers and into the internet then onto your screen almost effortlessly.  Just like I told you on Thursday that I was all fired up to kick the 4-day challenge meme in the patootie (yes, I said “patootie”), yesterday I was all fired up to tell you that the desk I had planned on moving out of the office for a complete surprise repurpose in another part of the warehouse had been given a stay of execution because I am not going to complete that project this week.

I know, I know… I am not doing so great with these challenges, am I? Not even a little bit.

The reason the desk is staying put is because poor prior planning promotes piss-poor performance and I had failed to take in the big picture when I posted the challenge set-up this week. Yesterday when I was ready to roll up my sleeves and get to clutter-busting the desk, I headed into the warehouse to clear the spot for the desk to start its new life as a major component in my new dressing/sewing room (construction pending). There’s no missing the big picture in the warehouse… It looked like this:

And there is no room there for my desk to find a new purpose…

So, I upgraded my challenge. This is the progress so far:

Wow! That pressure isn’t as strong as it was a little while ago. I think I will be able to get some more work done out in the warehouse before I make the next post.

Oh… And btw… I made up with my baby boy before I even made this post. I picked him up and held him close. he even rolled on his backand let me hold him like a baby and rub his tummy (a position in which he usually is pretty insecure staying for long) for as long as I wanted. But I didn’t kiss him on his cute little head, although I was quite tempted… LB does not being the recipient of kisses.

LB

LB Wilbur III, Esquire